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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2024.05.09 - Palm Springs Desert Sun - Former Guns N’ Roses drummer and business partner open recording studio in Palm Springs (Matt)

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2024.05.09 - Palm Springs Desert Sun - Former Guns N’ Roses drummer and business partner open recording studio in Palm Springs (Matt) Empty 2024.05.09 - Palm Springs Desert Sun - Former Guns N’ Roses drummer and business partner open recording studio in Palm Springs (Matt)

Post by Blackstar Sun May 26, 2024 1:37 am

Former Guns N’ Roses drummer and business partner open recording studio in Palm Springs

By Brian Blueskye

When former Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum and musician Jason Mendelson moved to Palm Springs a decade ago, both were tuned into the creative energy that attracted musicians to the local desert such as the Rat Pack, Jim Morrison of The Doors, Gram Parsons and Donovan.

The two musicians became acquainted with each other in Mendelson's backyard, and the conversation hit upon a crazy idea: “Let’s do a music studio.” In 2022, construction on the GoodNoise Studio began, and it officially opened a year later in North Palm Springs.

Having recorded in several studios, Sorum said the environment needs to be ripe for the creative process in making records. He described Joshua Tree and the remote and quiet location of David Catching's Rancho de la Luna studio, where Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys and Foo Fighters have recorded albums, as a "creative spark."

"I made certain types of records when I lived in the city, and the city sometimes feeds into that. I've gone to places like Hawaii to make rock 'n' roll records, and it's the wrong environment for it. I'm going to be on the beach in my sandals and then go make rock music? No. What I've found here is it has both of those things. There's a history of what's happened in the desert and going to Joshua Tree for inspiration, but we wanted to bring something cool to Palm Springs, where we didn't feel there was anything like that."

Mendelson, who gave up his dream of becoming a professional drummer during college after injuring his elbow, went on to careers in law, software engineering and now describes himself as a "recovered venture capitalist." He also owns GoodNoise Studio East in Boulder, Colorado, where he lives part-time.

“When I started in the late ’90s, every entrepreneur was trying to change the world," Mendelson said. “It wasn’t glamorous or television. There weren’t shows called ‘Silicon Valley’ or the tabloidization of the venture industry. Matt and I had lunch. We talked about the narcissism in the music industry versus the venture industry, how similar they were, and how tiring that was for us."

Due to confidentiality agreements, the owners declined to list a roster of clients, but did reveal Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top has come in for sessions and the studio was used as a rehearsal space for the "Rock the Plaza" benefit concert in 2022.

Even though GoodNoise is a recording studio, the owners prioritize it as a “hub for creatives” instead of a business. The building doesn't have any signage or logos on the windows, and its owners asked The Desert Sun not to reveal the exact location.

“Access (to the studio) is usually one degree of separation from Matt and I. If somebody shows up and says, ‘Hey, I’m legitimate, I’m cool, I have a cool project and we’re going to have a good time,’ we’ll consider it, but it’s not just sign up, pay us and come on in. We don’t want that vibe and we want a community," Mendelson said.

“We want creative people doing cool stuff and bringing that energy that you get from coming to the desert, which is something I felt when I came here," Sorum said.

Three rooms and all the essentials

The two say GoodNoise Studio can accommodate any project and offers producers and musicians several in-house musical instruments and recording tools.

The 4,000 square-feet studio, which includes a kitchen, was decorated by Mendelson's wife Jenn. There's a reception area and a bar in the lobby. Next to that are two large doors leading into the largest of the three studio rooms, with several drum sets. Another studio is large enough to accommodate a rock band or jazz trio and the smallest of the three rooms is for modest productions.

In the main control room, there's a plethora of digital tools, effects, amplifiers, keyboards and more. Both owners insisted on ample space in the control room, including couches and chairs.

"A lot of musicians who build studios make a mistake of building the (studio) room really big and the control room really small. What ends up happening is everyone hangs out in the control room and you've got 20 people in there all crowded. This is more comfortable," Sorum said.

Many of the guitars hanging on the wall are from Sorum's own collection, which includes 12-string electric guitars, and classic models such as a Gibson Les Paul and Fender Stratocasters and Telecasters.

"I find a lot of young bands don't have gear and can't afford it," Sorum said. "I have a lot of gear because I owned a full recording studio in Los Angeles. When we sold our house, I had all this stuff in storage. Everything in here was just sitting there. It's a collection over the past 35 years of my career."

But one of the extraordinary items from Sorum's collection that's in use at GoodNoise is the vintage Trident recording console that Sorum bought from the Treasure Island recording studio in Nashville.

“Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and George Jones all recorded on this," Sorum said. “It’s the same board Guns N’ Roses used to record ‘Appetite For Destruction.’ Since I’ve owned it, we used it for all the Velvet Revolver demos and Billy Idol recorded a Christmas album on this board, so it has a legacy."

Recording studios are still thriving

The recording industry has changed over the past 20 years as innovative technology digitalized most studio tools into computer software. There are several tutorials on YouTube for recording music at home. All an artist or band needs to do is plug instruments and microphones into an audio interface to record and produce in any environment outside of a studio. Mendelson pointed to Billie Eilish's brother and musical collaborator Finneas and DJ Mark Ronson as two producers who thrive in independent production.

"Finneas' model is democratized music — anybody can put record out, and that's awesome," Mendelson said. "His model is you cut one track at a time, bring in a musician and he has a vision. But the studio is where the magic happens. We're in a room, playing together and it's organic. The song is breathing, there's tension and it's creative."

There are many artists and bands who still prefer to work with other musicians in a studio environment. According to IBISWorld, there's been a 3% increase in revenues for music studios since a drop in 2019 and they're expected to reach $1.8 billion by the end of this year.

Sorum said some studios in Los Angeles went through a difficult period and didn’t survive through the pandemic, but the ones that did are busy throughout the year.

“There’s still a lot of bands out there that have to compete at a high level. They want to cut in a proper drum room and make a record,” Sorum said.

“I also think we’re playing in good time because the guitar was dead for a while. Not in our lives, but in the pop music world. It’s been incredible to see over the last half-decade, and it’s coming back more and more into the forefront. As much as I love our Fender Tone Master (guitar workstation) and some of the other equipment we have which is awesome for some applications, it doesn’t beat the guitar," Mendelson said.

Even though Sorum and Mendelson are selective about who records in the studio, both owners are passionate about giving back to the community and are planning to work with five local schools through Sorum's nonprofit Adopt The Arts Foundation, which provides music and art classes to all students.

"We want to bring kids through here to give them the experience and inspire them. For Jason and I, that's been the lifeblood for both of us, and the thing that makes us feel good all the time is music," Sorum said.

https://eu.desertsun.com/story/life/entertainment/music/2024/05/09/ex-guns-n-roses-drummer-opens-palm-springs-studio/73534071007/
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